Lady Wildcats will utilize youth, not use it as an excuse
POPLARVILLE— Scotty Fletcher’s Lady Wildcats basketball team will be the youngest in the MACJC when they take the court for the first time Thursday against Delgado. There are a few ways to view a Pearl River roster comprised of just two upperclassmen.
“We’re so young, but we’re not going to use that as an excuse,” Fletcher said. “Basketball is basketball. We have a lot to teach, we have a lot to put in. The one thing about this group that I like is they’re very, very coachable.”
“They’re like a bunch of sponges. They soak up all the information.”
In order to get the most out of his players, Fletcher has implemented a three-pronged approach.”
“The three things we have asked from our girls from Day 1 are to buy in, lock in and stay in,” he said. “We feel like if you’ll buy into what we’re teaching every single day, then you get locked in on that task and you’ll want to stay in to see the benefits.”
“We preach that every single day.”
While the Lady Wildcats only have two returners this year, they’re not your average upperclassmen at the JUCO level.
Gabby Brown (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Choctaw) will be an extension of the coaching staff on the hardwood; which, considering she comes from a coaching family should be no surprise.
“She’s a coach’s dream,” Fletcher said. “She brings it every day and competes in every drill, every sprint, in the weight room and in the classroom.
“It really matters to Gabby.”
Elexis Peyton (Jackson; Provine) is the other returner, albeit with an extra year of experience. Peyton played extensively two years ago but was hurt during her freshman season. As a result, she sat out last year while she worked her way back to full health. Now that she’s back, Fletcher has big expectations for Peyton.
“We were 7-1 with her playing the point and she played the post in high school,” Fletcher said. “She’s an all-around basketball player and a winner. We missed her leadership when she went down.”
Peyton was utilized mostly as a guard her freshman season. Now, Fletcher said, expect to see the Provine product playing more in the post at her natural position.
“She’s going to be really successful playing that post,” Fletcher said. “She has a presence on the court that you can’t teach.”
Fletcher likes the youthful depth he has heading into the 2018-19 season.
Specifically, Fletcher likes what he has seen during practice from Jakia Harper (Jackson’ Provine), Maliyah Bullard (Pass Christian) and Olivia Mosley (Pearl).
“They come from great programs,” he said. They’re three different wing players. They can all shoot it, but they can also create their own shot, slash and get to the rim.
“Those are three guards who every day they impress you.”
Rounding out the roster are Chameria Washington (Meridian), Kennedy Hudson (Purvis), Sabreya Lee (Magee), Dywana Parker (Gulfport), Mychala Linzy (Clinton), Amya Moffite (Meridian), Jamecia Profit (Zachary, La.), Alanna Smith (Picayune), Shania Wright (Clinton) and Meah Monroe (Reserve, La.; East St. John).
With such a youthful roster, Fletcher has put added emphasis on defense.
“We want to press and change defenses. We’ve done that a lot since I’ve been here,” he said. “This year, we have some different post players, which will allow us to change some different defenses.
“We want to be very aggressive on the defensive end. We want our defense to create quick, easy shots in transition and we want to create a bunch of live ball turnovers.”
Causing havoc on the defensive end will be the team’s top goal game to game.
“We practice that every single day,” he said. “That’s something we can carry on the road, where we can’t carry a shooting percentage with us every night.”
HOW TO WATCH / LISTEN
Fans can watch the Wildcats all season long on PRCCAthletics.com. Wildcat faithful can also listen to the action on WRJW 1320 AM (Picayune) or by downloading the WRJW app.
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